It appears that Peter Jones (Perspective, 7 October) and others who argued against Scotland’s independence are now slowly, belatedly, thinking through the consequences of rejecting the opportunity offered via the referendum.
Liberal Democart leader Nick Clegg bemoans the prospects of a “broken society” if the Tories continue in power at Westminster, or a “broken economy” if Labour were to gain power, while Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael ridiculously calls for a future Scottish referendum to be ruled out before a judgment can be made as to whether the “vow” which conceivably swung the outcome of the 18 September vote has been honoured, as well as before the result of a likely 2017 referendum on the UK’s continuing membership of the EU is known.
The serious minds among the Liberal Democrats, as well as among the leaders of the Labour and Tory parties, should now be focused on delivering the “extensive powers” promised to Scotland.
But perhaps the recent comments of Messrs Clegg and Carmichael are a tacit acknowledgement that Mr Jones is correct and any “tax-raising powers” significantly greater than the limited powers contained in the 2012 Scotland Act (based on the recommendations of the Calman Commission) are likely to destabilise the UK economy in the long term.
The overall conclusion of his analysis, which remained unstated by Mr Jones, and which many determined for themselves before voting Yes on 18 September, is that independence is the logical route ahead, both for Scotland and the rest of the UK, if the powers sought by the majority of the Scottish people for at least “devo-max” in the form of a quasi-federal state (as “guaranteed” by Gordon Brown) are to be sustainably delivered.
Is Alistair Carmichael real? Where does he get off telling anyone to respect the referendum result?
As I recall, 55 per cent voted for the status quo and 45 per cent voted for independence. However, the result has been corrupted into a vote for further devolution. Devolution was offered to be on the ballot paper but was rejected by the unionist parties. At a late date in the referendum campaign, the unionists introduced the proposition of further devolution – the result is that they now claim Scotland voted for further devolution. Although half a loaf is better than no loaf, it does not change the facts that no one voted for devolution.
The truth is that the unionists are determined to deliver that which no one voted for: where is the respect for the actual referendum and the electorate who voted?